April 21- David the Shepherd | Making the Bible Come Alive
In the Old Testament (1 Samuel 16) we read of a young man, David, who captures not only the heart of the nation of Israel, but also the heart of God. In the New Testament, God describes David as “a man after My own heart.” (Acts 13:22)
As we desire to help a younger generation understand the ways of God, it is important to teach them how God goes before us in battle – and we do not need to fear. In the world today, there is much uncertain, fear and even panic. Yet, God’s people can stand strong in the midst of it all. Young David, the shepherd boy, was going up against Goliath in battle. It’s a story that’s familiar to many, and reminds us how God is with us and will be our Protector. He gives us wisdom to make right decisions and will show us His ways when we put our complete trust in Him. When things look bigger, tougher, and harder, it is important that our trust is fully in God to fight the battle. We cannot and should not try to fight it alone. It is He who brings the victory. In our own strength, we are nothing.
Even Jesus spoke those words in John 15:5 when He said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” When we are connected to “The Vine” (Jesus), we do not need to fear. God is with us and will allow us to do great things for Him! He will use us, sometimes in ways we never would have dreamed. David would not have imagined being able to take down a nine-foot giant in his own strength. And Jesus tells us, that in fact “we will bear much fruit” when we are connected to Him. Stay connected. Help your children connect to God, through His Son, Jesus.
And secondly, God wants to use us to serve His purposes in this world. The story of David shows us how God will anoint those whose hearts are turned to Him. He wants us to serve Him, and to serve other leaders. Sometimes we need to serve those whose hearts are not for God, but we can trust that God will go before us and will show us His favour. He will anoint us for His purpose, and appoint us for His work. It is important to teach the next generation that they, too, may be mocked or looked down on by others when they are doing God’s work in God’s way. But, just like young David, they can trust a great God who will not leave them standing along on the battlefield. He goes before us, He is our rear-guard, and He surrounds us, so that we can stand and see His mighty power at work.
1 Samuel 16:7 tells us clearly that others will look at our outward appearance, but God looks at our heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) It is our heart that matters most to Him.
Let’s seek to impact a generation whose hearts are turned to God and are who not afraid to stand and go to battle, knowing God will bring the victory!
Many are the songs and poems and prayers of David, expressed throughout the book of Psalms. Psalm 23 is a very well-known, loved and memorized psalm. Another is Psalm 34—take time to read this psalm out loud, several times over. Make it your prayer as a family. Memorize those key verses that speak strength to your soul - verses like Psalm 34: 3, 4, 8, 9, 11, 14 and 18. When we walk in difficult days, these verses should be hidden in our hearts and proclaimed from our lips. Make a commitment today to repeat these truths aloud as a family:
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted